It’s been nearly twelve years since visitors first experienced the emotionally charged design of Daniel Libeskind’s Jewish Museum Berlin. Since then, the museum has become an world-renowned icon whose public and education programs have more than doubled in size. With an ever-expanding archive and library, it was decided the museum should be supplemented by an additional facility.
Today, alongside museum officials, Daniel Libeskind celebrates the opening of the Academy of the Jewish Museum Berlin. The facility was created from a former Berlin Flower Market (Blumengrossmarkt), whose shell undergirds the new structure. It’s 25,000 square foot, one story space now houses a library, archives and education center, along with additional office, storage and support space.
A sneak peak and the architects’ description after the break… (more…)
In honor of Rem Koolhaas’ birthday today, we are bringing you all things Koolhaas: 12 Fun Koolhaas quotes; a fabulous article by former New York Times critic, Nicolai Ouroussoff; this ArchDaily original editorial; and, later today, a Round-Up of all of OMA’s latest works. Stay tuned!
Imagine London, but not the way you know it. Imagine it physically separated, much like Berlin once was, into two zones: one of pleasure and one of practicality. Consider how the city would eventually appear as inhabitants rushed to the pleasure zone; how the zone of practicality would eventually, inevitably become bereft.
This is the London of a young Rem Koolhaas’ imaginings, written for his Thesis at the Architectural Association School in London in the late 60s. Before Delirious New York, before OMA, and much before the CCTV Tower, Koolhaas was inspired by this idea of the divided city – and it’s a fitting image to start thinking about the ever provocative, often controversial Rem: a man who stands with one foot in the world of desire and the other, reluctantly, in that of practicality; a man who would perhaps prefer the title of urban thinker, despite clearly being one of architecture’s great masters.
It’s exactly this in-between-ness, this reluctance to fit into one supposed role, that has been Koolhaas’ greatest asset, that has allowed him to approach the profession from such unlikely angles. Using the city’s freedoms as his inspiration, and rejecting as given the expectations of what architecture is(even questioning its relevance at all), Koolhaas, the “reluctant architect,” is also the most radical of our time, and the most vital for our future.
Pritzker-Prize Laureate Remment Lucas Koolhaas (you probably know him as ”Rem”) turns 68 today. The co-founder of one of the world’s most renowned architecture firms, OMA, and an urban-planner/philosopher whose theories have provoked admiration (and ire) for over thirty years, Koolhaas is undeniably one of a kind.
In honor of the occasion, today we’ll be bringing you all things Koolhaas: a fabulous article by former New York Times critic, Nicolai Ouroussoff, a Round-Up of all of OMA’s latest works, an original ArchDaily editorial, and this list of quotes from the architect himself – some poignant, all provocative (this is Koolhaas, after all). Such as this gem: “People can inhabit anything. And they can be miserable in anything and ecstatic in anything. More and more I think that architecture has nothing to do with it. Of course, that’s both liberating and alarming…”
12 Classic Koolhaas Quotes, after the break…
In Criticism of Architecture:
“People can inhabit anything. And they can be miserable in anything and ecstatic in anything. More and more I think that architecture has nothing to do with it. Of course, that’s both liberating and alarming.
But the generic city, the general urban condition, is happening everywhere, and just the fact that it occurs in such enormous quantities must mean that it’s habitable. Architecture can’t do anything that the culture doesn’t. We all complain that we are confronted by urban environments that are completely similar. We say we want to create beauty, identity, quality, singularity. And yet, maybe in truth these cities that we have are desired. Maybe their very characterlessness provides the best context for living.” —interview in Wired, July 1996
“Where space was considered permanent, it now feels transitory – on its way to becoming. The words and ideas of architecture, once the official language of space, no longer seem capable of describing this proliferation of new conditions. But even as its utility is questioned in the real world, architectural language survives, its repertoire of concepts and metaphors resurrected to create clarity and definition in new, unfamiliar domains (think chatrooms, Web sites, and firewalls). Words that die in the real are reborn in the virtual.” - Note from Rem Koolhaas, guest-editor of Wired, June 2003
“Architecture has been defined in terms of one activity, and that activity is adding to the world. A few years ago I realized the profession was as if lobotomized – it was stuck conceiving of itself only in terms of adding things and not in terms of taking away or erasing things. The same intelligence for adding ought to also deal with its debris.”—interview in Wired, July 1996
“Junkspace is the sum total of our current architecture: we have built more than all previous history together, but we hardly register on the same scales. [...] It substitutes accumulation for hierarchy, addition for composition. More and more, more is more. Junkspace is overripe and undernourishing at the same time, a colossal security blanket that covers the earth. … Junkspace is like being condemned to a perpetual Jacuzzi with millions of your best friends.”- Article in Wired, June 2000
On Thinking and Writing:
When asked if he has a certain aspiration: “It’s very simple and it has nothing to do with identifiable goals. It is to keep thinking about what architecture can be, in whatever form. That is an answer, isn’t it?[...] continuity of thinking in whatever form, around whatever subject, is the real ambition.” —Interview with Jennifer Sigler in Index Magazine, 2000
“I like thinking big. I always have. To me its very simple: if youre going to be thinking anyway, you might as well think big.” -S, M, L, XL
“There is an enormous, deliberate, and – I think – healthy discrepancy between what I write and what I do.” —interview in Wired, July 1996
On his work:
“I’ve absolutely never thought about money or economic issues,but as an architect I think this is a strength. It allows me to be irresponsible and to invest in my work.” - Smithsonian Mag, Septebmer 2012
Commenting on the ambiguity of his visions as either utopian or dystopian: “That has been my entire life story. Running against the current and running with the current. Sometimes running with the current is underestimated. The acceptance of certain realities doesn’t preclude idealism. It can lead to certain breakthroughs.”- Smithsonian Mag, Septebmer 2012
“The unbuilt is the fantasy that underlies everything.” - Article in Wired, June 2000
Describing the Architectural Association School of Architecture in London in the late 60s: “flower power and terminal humanism. Goodness had become niceness. I felt incredibly uncomfortable.” - Article in Wired, June 2000
On New York City: ”‘Zero tolerance’ is a deadly mantra for a metropolis: What is a city if not a space of maximum license?” – An article in Wired, June 2003
As we announced in early October, British powerhouse Foster + Partners have been declared as winner of the six-month long, all-star competition to design the next “landmark” high rise on the prime site of 425 Park Avenue in New York City. The tapered, steel-frame office tower is planned to rise 687 feet to claim a spot on the New York City skyline by 2017. Upon competition, the world-class high rise is expected to achieve LEED Gold status and serve as an exemplar for sustainable office design.
Foster’s concept succeeded visions from Rem Koolhaas, Zaha Hadid and Richard Rogers (view all the proposals here). Construction is expected to begin in 2015, shortly after the completion of Foster’s first U.S. residential high rise, which broke ground this week in New York.
Details of 425 Park Avenue after the break… (more…)
Cook County Judge Neil Cohen has granted Bertand Goldberg’s Prentice Woman’s Hospital a temporary reprieve after preservationist filed a lawsuit against the city and the Chicago Commission on Public Landmarks yesterday afternoon. Plaintiffs, Landmarks Illinois and the National Trust for Historic Preservation claim that the commission “acted arbitrarily and exceeded its authority,” after granting and subsequently revoking Prentice landmark status in just a short afternoon on November 1. These proceedings, which typically takes months, followed Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s decision to publicly support Northwestern University’s plan to demolish the vacant icon.
More after the break… (more…)
It’s only been a few weeks since she turned 62 but it’s already shaping up to be Zaha Hadid’s year. Yesterday, she was announced winner of the Japan National Stadium Competition earlier this week, her latest US project, the Eli & Edythe Broad Museum opened; and the beginning of the month saw much fanfare and frenzy surrounding her extraordinary work in Beijing: Galaxy Soho .
Check out all the latest images of Zaha Hadid’s Galaxy Soho, after the break…
MONU magazine on urbanism is continuously looking for interesting contributions. The current open call for submissions for MONU #18 is on the topic of “ Communal Urbansim” with submissions due December 31. This new issue aims to focus on contemporary communal living in cities in general and on contemporary communal housing projects in particular. Nevertheless, we are interested in the history of communal housing and communal living in general as well, whether in the Western world or anywhere else. Today, communes or communal housing projects probably appear to be by far less naïve than in the past, more pragmatic and economic, better organized, and built up around serious and professional financial strategies.More information after the break. (more…)
If you thought “Architecture for Dogs,” the project in which world-class architects design “sincere architectural structures” for dogs, couldn’t get any cuter, you were very, very wrong.
Today, the project’s interactive web site, designed by Yugo Nakamura, the web designer for Uniqlo, was launched. The site allows viewers to browse each of the architect’s designs and then download free blueprints to make them on their own. Plus, it features an adorable introductory video, complete with scampering puppies, which imparts the site’s mission: “bringing a new kind of joy to the relationship between dogs and humans.”
More info and Images on “Architecture for Dogs,” after the break…
Beating out 10 other finalists (including Populous, a firm known for their sports architecture, as well as Japanese heavyweights, such as Toyo Ito and SANAA), Zaha Hadid Architects were chosen by Tadao Ando and the Japan Sports Council to design the new Japan National Stadium. As Ando described the decision-process: “Our wish is to see a stadium designed by someone who shares this earth, with wisdom and technology that looks to the future of out planet.”
The new 80,000-seat stadium will replace the existing Kasumigaoka National Stadium in Tokyo. It will host the 2019 Rugby World Cup and potentially be the main sporting venue for the 2020 Olympic Games (if Japan’s bid is selected). It will also be offered to FIFA as a venue for World Cup football matches.
The Stadium is scheduled for completion in 2018.
More images, after the break…
Greenbuild, the world’s largest conference and expo dedicated to green building has commenced in San Francisco with an interesting announcement from the main stage. Google has granted $3 million to the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) in an effort to transform the building materials industry and accelerate the creation of healthier indoor environments.
“Healthy, non-toxic building materials are a critical component in green building,” said Rick Fedrizzi, President, CEO & Founding Chair, U.S. Green Building Council. “Fostering awareness of the materials we put into our buildings is of paramount importance, since many materials can link to a host of environmental and health issues. Working with Google enables us to broaden our efforts in the materials industry as we prepare for the next version of the LEED green building program, LEED v4. This updated rating system will paint a more complete picture of materials and products, enabling project teams to make more informed decisions.”
More after the break… (more…)
Petre Island (sometimes called Petra Island) is an 11-acre, heart-shaped island 47 miles from Manhattan. While Wright hand-picked the site himself in 1949, and drew up plans for a 5,000 square foot ”dream house” the following year, budget concerns forced him to scale down his vision, resulting in the construction of a smaller guest cottage.
Fast-forward 53 years later, and the island’s new owner, John Massaro, decided to make those long-sitting plans reality; he hired architect and Wright scholar Thomas Heinz, who used ArchiCAD to model aspects of Wright’s design that weren’t obvious from the original renderings and updated the house with some modern amenities.
While the Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation refuses to accept the house as authentic (they even tried to sue Massaro for claiming so), that hasn’t stopped AHALife, the web site featuring the island for sale, from proudly selling the “spectacular Frank Lloyd Wright-designed house” for $19,900,000 USD.
More images and info on this Wright-designed island, after the break…
50 UN Plaza, Foster+Partners‘ first residential building in the U.S., broke ground this morning. With the Hearst Tower long finished, Tower 2 at Ground Zero near complete, and a new iconic building planned for 425 Park Avenue, 50 UN Plaza will only further solidify Lord Foster’s mark on New York City.
The 44-story luxury tower’s privileged spot at the United Nations Plaza will give it remarkable views of the UN Building, the East River, and the Manhattan skyline. According to Foster, the building’s deep bay windows (which line each of the tower’s 3 volumes) will maximize that view and, along with its steel and glass facade, give the tower a distinctive, “jewel-like quality”: “The slender proportion of 50 United Nations Plaza is attenuated by the vertical stacks of bay windows, which give it a distinctive identity[...] The polished stainless steel detailing of the facade is in the sprit of earlier historic towers in the city and it reflects the sharp quality of light which is special to New York.”
The building, whose construction will incorporate recycled materials, also has a strong environmental agenda, combining active and passive energy strategies. According to the New York Observer, the tower’s 87 units will range in size from 1,100 square feet one-bedrooms; three bedrooms as big as 3,000 square feet; full-floor residences; and a penthouse duplex, measuring about 10,000 square feet. One of the marquee features will also be a private driveway. The tower is expected to cost $500 million and be completed in 2014.
Foster+Partner’s description of 50 UN Plaza, after the break… (more…)
Don’t believe the rumors! Despite Oscar Niemeyer’s age and three recent hospitalizations, the legendary Brazilian architect is in full recovery after being admitted to the Samaritan Hospital in Rio de Janeiro for dehydration and renal complications last week.
Niemeyer’s doctor, Fernando Gjorup responded to the rumors by stating: “Risk of death? In no time was it considered. Of course the hospitalization of a patient of his age is serious, but we did not think about that.”
Even at 104 years old and from a hospital bed, Niemeyer remains active with his work. Vera Lucia Niemeyer, Niemeyer’s wife, stated: “He has several projects and wants to know about the progress of each.”
Story via Publico
Just when we thought the saga was over, a whole new chapter has begun.
The David Wright House, an unusual home in Arizona that Frank Lloyd Wright designed for his son, has been in danger since July, when the developer-owners announced their plans to tear it down and split the lot in two. After considerable hubbub caused by preservationists, and an online petition that received thousands of votes, enough pressure was put on the Pheonix City Council to delay demolition until they could vote on whether or not to confer Landmark Designation on the house (this would delay demolition for another three years, but not safeguard the house from demolition).
However, the point became moot when a preservation-minded buyer swooped in to save the day. Now, just two weeks later, the buyer has backed out.
Find out more on the fate of the David Wright House, after the break…
The Society of Architectural Historians (SAH) has announced Skidmore Owings & Merrill LLP (SOM) Urban Design and Planning Partner Philip J. Enquist, FAIA, as the recipient of the inaugural SAH Award for Excellence in Design, Planning and Sustainability. The recognition honors Enquist’s leadership on the Vision for the Great Lakes & St. Lawrence River Region, a pro-bono initiative that sets forth a 100-year vision for the Great Lakes and St. Lawrence River watershed. The Great Lakes and St. Lawrence Basin is one of 263 watersheds that spans national boundaries and Enquist believes that planning must address the basin comprehensively.
“It’s humbling that the SAH is honoring us for this future-oriented project,” Enquist says. “We have a responsibility to be stewards of the Great Lakes and St. Lawrence River basin, which represents 20 percent of the planet’s fresh surface water. We must design our cities and region to eliminate waste, relying on innovative and sustainable strategies. We can and must ensure fresh water for all future generations.” (more…)
Hurricane Sandy has come and gone, but the destruction she left in her path remains a stark reminder of her strength.
Photographer Amanda Kirkpatrick has shared with us her images of The Rockaways in Queens, an upper-class beach neighborhood that was one of the areas hit hardest by the storm. Kirkpatrick’s objective eye documents the twisted boardwalks and unrecognizably distorted homes in an almost “clinical” way, honestly portraying the damage from the perspective of the broken structures themselves.
If you’re interested in getting involved with Hurricane Sandy Recovery Efforts, you can get more information here. For more images from Amanda Kirkpatrick, read on after the break…
Out of 65 submissions from 21 countries, six public-interest design projects have just been announced as this year’s winners of the International SEED Awards. The SEED Network and Design Corps have singled out these projects as those which best incorporated social consciousness, community outreach, and sustainability into their designs.
The 6 projects represent the diffusiveness of public-interest design today, and how, by looking through the lens of design, many diverse (and yet often re-occurring) social problems can be addressed.
The Winning Projects, which you can see on display at the 13th annual Structures for Inclusion conference at the University of Minnesota College of Design March 22-23, 2013, are: SAGE: Affordable Green Modular Classrooms, Gervais, Oregon; Puyallup Tribal Longhouse, Tacoma, Washington (Puyallup Tribal Reservation); Rosa F. Keller Building, New Orleans, Louisiana; Firm Foundation, Banjarmasin, Kalimantan, Indonesia; Sudan Jalle School, Jalle Payam, Jonglei State, South Sudan; Maa-Bara: Catalyzing Economic Change & Food Security, Lenya (Bondo District), Nyanza, Kenya.
More info on these extraordinary public-interest designs, after the break…
In light of the devastation left by Hurricane Sandy, as politicians quabble over the existence of climate change, we cannot escape the reality that our cities are vulnerable to natural disasters. Coastal cities face the threat of flooding as sea levels rise and storms, as we’ve seem over the past few years, have had more severe impacts on our cities. The duty of architects, planners, and leaders is to build resilient cities with infrastructure that can stand up to the forces of natural disasters.
Join us after the break for a list of some of the largest port cities vulnerable to coastal flooding… (more…)